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Enabling Thin and Flexible Solid-State Composite Electrolytes by the Scalable Solution Process


All solid-state batteries (ASSBs) have the potential to deliver higher energy densities, wider operating temperature range, and improved safety compared with today's liquid-electrolyte-based batteries. However, of the various solid-state electrolyte (SSE) classes - polymers, sulfides, or oxides - none alone can deliver the combined properties of ionic conductivity, mechanical, and chemical stability needed to address scalability and commercialization challenges. While promising strategies to overcome these include the use of polymer/oxide or sulfide composites, there is still a lack of fundamental understanding between different SSE-polymer-solvent systems and its selection criteria. Here, we isolate various SSE-polymer-solvent systems and study their molecular level interactions by combining various characterization tools. With these findings, we introduce a suitable Li7P3S11SSE-SEBS polymer-xylene solvent combination that significantly reduces SSE thickness (∼50 μm). The SSE-polymer composite displays high room temperature conductivity (0.7 mS cm-1) and good stability with lithium metal by plating and stripping over 2000 h at 1.1 mAh cm-2. This study suggests the importance of understanding fundamental SSE-polymer-solvent interactions and provides a design strategy for scalable production of ASSBs.

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